DONNA F For the best FinCon14 price, book by Monday night.Once again I’ve been chosen to present a program at the Financial Blogger Conference, which takes place Sept. 18-20 in New Orleans.

According to the organizer, Phil Taylor, I’m apparently the only person who’s been involved all four years. So I guess it’s really not just me who likes to hear myself  talk.

The “early bird” pricing ends at 11:59 p.m. Monday, June 30. So if you’re a blogger or want to be one, sign up now for the best deal (more on that in a minute).

Or just attend because you’re intrigued by personal finance and/or would like to hear writers talk about what they do.


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th4 Ally Bank might give you $100.I figured that would get your attention. The $100 in question comes in the form of Amazon scrip, and two such gift cards will be given away during Ally’s monthly TweetChat on June 24.

That’s tomorrow, in case you aren’t keeping track. The topic is one with which all of us could use some schoolin’.

“Protecting Yourself Online” is just what it sounds like: the latest on security and how to protect your identity and your digital assets. As the Ally wonks note, you wouldn’t give your car keys to a stranger or leave your home’s windows and doors open – yet plenty of us are fairly unguarded online.

According to Consumer Reports, 62 percent of U.S. citizens have done nothing to protect themselves when using the Internet. That’s understandable, since digital security can be a very confusing topic – and since well-publicized data breaches make it look as though no one can really guard against determined hackers.


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th 22 6 financial lessons from “Godzilla.”To be honest, I’d hoped for more from the “Godzilla” reboot. The trailer sure made it look like a big ol’ popcorn romp.

Sure, plenty of stuff happened: buildings stomped flat, nuclear facilities collapsing, trains bitten in half, EMPs causing quarter-slot machines to malfunction.

But despite high production values and a handful of really swell actors (Bryan Cranston, Ken Watanabe, Juliette Binoche, David Strathairn) the film had a marked sense of detachment, as though nothing we were seeing really mattered much.

On the bright side, Linda B. and I saw the film on cheap day ($5.25 all shows) and we paid with discounted gift cards, which brought the cost down further. Not that it matters: I’m taking the price of the ticket as a business expense  because – as usual – I  found money lessons in the film.


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F8C35AV 0ther PCMAG 513 150x150 Want to win a laptop? Sign up by Wednesday.Although I’m neither a contest blogger nor a deal blogger, I do sometimes post  giveaways, TweetChats and other promotions from elsewhere. Occasionally one carries the potential for affiliate income for me, e.g., when someone signs up for a seminar. Mostly, though, I put them up to give readers a chance to win stuff.

The folks at Savings.com are giving away a laptop computer. Specifically, they’re giving away an HP Pavilion 11t-n000 x360 PC (Energy Star).

Edited to add: The giveaway quickly filled up with more than 5,000 entries and closed early. But it has been retooled and is now back in business. You can enter up until 9 p.m. EDT Wednesday, April 30, by going to the Savings.com giveaway page.


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Go win these gift cards.

th6 Go win these gift cards.Whenever I see a chance to win gift cards I tend to enter. Sometimes I even win.

Whenever I see a chance for readers to win gift cards, I tend to share. Here are two chances to win Home Depot and Amazon.com cards. The former is pretty easy; the latter takes a bit of work but there’s a chance at a pretty decent payoff.

Savings.com will be giving away $3,000 worth of Home Depot e-gift cards today through Wednesday. Between 9:30 a.m. and 7 p.m. EDT each day, go to the Home Depot page at Savings.com and enter your e-mail address.


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